Photo Credit: Whitley Carpenter
Pinky Doodle Poodle, we barely knew ye: After taking Athens by storm over the past year, touring the Southeastern U.S. and playing a particularly memorable set at the 2019 Flagpole Athens Music Awards, the Japanese punk band's work visa has expired, and core members George and Yuria Hattori will return to their home country this week.
As George Hattori explains on a GoFundMe page set up last month to assist the group with visa renewal costs, "It is with great sadness that we must tell everyone that we were not able to extend our original visa for an additional year. There was a filing deadline and an application fee that were both too difficult to meet. "
Though George and Yuria will fly back to Japan Tuesday, Aug. 6, they say they plan to re-apply for a full, three-year work visa if they are able to meet a fundraising goal of $10,000 to cover the application cost and legal fees.
"We have already begun that process and have met with an immigration attorney who specializes in this kind of application," Hattori writes on the GoFundMe page. "If we are able to get a new 3-year visa, we will return to our new home in Athens, GA, and start booking shows immediately.
"We are very sad to be leaving our new friends in America behind, but hopefully it will only be temporary!" Hattori writes. " Thank you for your friendship. It has been an honor to play for you all, and we hope to see you again before the end of 2019. "